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Now, Dalai Lama says Nehru's refusal to accept Jinnah as PM is reason behind partition

Thursday August 9, 2018 12:26 PM, News Network

Dalai Lama

Panaji (Goa): India and Pakistan would have been remained one and united, had a "self-centred" Jawaharlal Nehru accepted Mahatama Gandhi's choice of Muhammed Ali Jinnah as the country’s first prime minister, Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama said on Wednesday.

Asserting that Nehru's refusal to accept Jinnah as prime minister resulted in the partition of India, the Dalai Lama also said that Pandit Nehru was gifted with experience, but mistakes do occur.

"Mahatma Gandhi wanted to give the prime ministership to (Mohammad Ali) Jinnah. But Nehru refused. He was self-centred. He (Nehru) said, 'I wanted to be Prime Minister'", the Dalai Lama said in response to a question from a student during an interaction held at the Goa Institute of Managament in North Goa's Sanquelim village, located some 30 km from Panaji.

"India and Pakistan would have been united (had Jinnah been made Prime Minister at the time). Pandit Nehru is very experienced. But mistakes do happen," the Dalai Lama said.

He said it was important to respect opinions of stakeholders and analysing all ends before making a big decision. Explaining it in a the larger context of democracy, he looked at benefits of referendum where every opinion matters.

“I feel feudal system caused much war,” the Dalai Lama said.

The Dalai Lam is not alone in blaming Jawaharlal Nehru for the partition of India, some other historians and scholars have also gone with this opinion.

There is also an opinion that Azad had blamed Nehru for sabotaging possibilities of reconciliation between Congress and Muslim League on two occasions. First in 1937 for not accepting Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s demand for including two representatives of Muslim League in the UP Ministry that was formed after the elections. Secondly when Nehru issued a statement that the Constitution of Free India will be framed by elected representatives and not to be bound by the scheme agreed upon with the Cabinet Mission, Sitaram Sharma is Chairman, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies Kolkatta, wrote in an article.

It is well known that Maulana Azad was an outspoken opponent of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Partition and a symbol of collective will of Muslims to co-exist in a secular India. In a press statement on 15 April 1946 as Congress President Maulana said, “I have considered from every possible point of view the scheme of Pakistan as formulated by the Muslim League. As an Indian, I have examined the implication for the future of India as a whole. As a Muslim I have examined its likely effects upon the futures of Muslims of India. Considering the scheme in all its aspects I have come to conclusion that it is harmful not only for India as a whole but for Muslims in particular. And infact it creates more problems than it solves.”

In his celebrated autobiography “India Wins Freedom” while reviewing the situation ten years after Independence in 1957 Maulana Abul Kalam Azad wrote: “Among Congressmen the greatest supporter of partition was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, but even he did not believe that partition was the best solution of the Indian problem. He threw his weight in the favour of partition out of irritation and injured vanity. He found himself frustrated at every step by the veto put on his proposals by Liaqat Ali Khan as Finance Minister. It was therefore sheer anger that he decided that if there was no other alternative, partition should be accepted. He was also convinced that the new state of Pakistan was not viable and could not last. He thought that the acceptance of Pakistan would teach the Muslim League a bitter lesson. Pakistan would collapse in a short time and provinces which had seceded from India would have to face untold difficulty and hardship".

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